Title: If I Were You
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: G3, 5_prompts
Prompt: 1, If I were you
Author's Note: Spoilers for The Poison Sky & The Fires Of Pompeii.
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the Tenth Doctor or Ross Jenkins, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***What was he doing? the Doctor chided himself. Interfering in history was never a good idea. He'd seen what harm it could do, up close and personal. He shouldn't even be thinking about this. Too much chaos could result from it.
But Ross hadn't deserved to die. And if his future self could intervene and change that, what difference would it make? There would be one less dead soldier, one less person gone from his life. That couldn't be a bad thing, at least not in his eyes.
Besides, if he wanted to be perfectly honest with himself, he was attracted to Ross. He didn't want to leave the young man to his fate without trying to do something to stop that fate from being fulfilled -- and perhaps doing something for himself along the way.
He'd shown up at the right time, spiriting Ross away to the Tardis before he could become embroiled in that mess with the Sontarans. Another guard had been chosen -- and maybe, with a little luck, this one wouldn't be killed.
The Doctor frowned, drumming his fingers on the console. Ross was here now, walking around the control room, taking everything in without being shocked or surprised by it. Just how much did he know about the Doctor and the Tardis already?
He wanted to ask, but that probably wasn't a good idea. He didn't want to make Ross feel as though he was doing or saying anything wrong; and he certainly didn't want to jeopardize any chance of this young man agreeing to be his companion.
As that thought flashed through his mind, Ross turned to him with a smile, raising a hand to gesture around him. "I've heard about the Tardis, but I never really believed that she was real. Or that you were. I suppose dreams do come true, don't they?"
"I'm the fulfillment of a dream for you?" The Doctor couldn't help smiling at those words. He hadn't known that Ross had thought about him before they'd ever met, though that raised a question that worried him somewhat. "How much do you know about me, Ross?"
The young man shrugged, looking uncomfortable. "Just what I've been told. But I didn't believe a lot of it -- until I met you in the flesh. I didn't think that some of the things that have been said about you could possibly be true. They just seem far-fetched."
"If I were you, I wouldn't believe everything you hear," the Doctor said, his tone dry. "Some of the things that I've done have been built up into these great heroic exploits, when they really weren't. And some of my mistakes have been used to vilify me."
"I've never believed the stories that make you out to be some kind of evil alien monster," Ross told him, shaking his head vehemently. "I can make up my own mind, Doctor. And I don't base every decision I make -- or every belief I hold -- on what I'm told. I want to see things for myself."
"That's a very good attitude to have," the Doctor said, relief rushing through him. He wasn't going to have to correct any assumptions Ross might have about him; he'd been worried about that. But this young man seemed to have his head firmly on his shoulders.
"If I were you, I wouldn't judge humans too harshly, Doctor," Ross said, his gaze meeting the Doctor's without faltering. "Some of us are idiots, but not all. You just have to weed out the good from the bad -- as you do with anything in this world."
The Doctor nodded, a smile tugging at his lips. There was more to Ross than he'd thought; if only he had been able to get to know this young man better in the past! But then, if he had, witnessing his death would have been even harder.
Only he wasn't going to die. Not this time. That was why he'd come here, why he'd taken the chance that he might be redefining history by sweeping Ross away with him. Because he couldn't let such a bright, beautiful young man perish needlessly.
And what of the person who might die in his place? a voice in the back of his head piped up. What of their future? Maybe they were a bright, beautiful young person, too -- and they would give their life to save someone that the Doctor had taken a fancy to.
The Doctor pushed that thought away before it could take root in his mind. Fate wasn't irrevocable. The person who would take Ross' place as his guard might not be killed. He would simply have to trust that this was the right thing to do, in this case.
Sometimes, altering the past was right. Hadn't he saved that family in Pompeii, when history had decreed that they should perish? And that hadn't had any long-term ramifications. At least, none that he knew of. This would turn out well too, he was sure of it.
He couldn't simply stand back and let Ross die. There had been a spark between them; there had been questions in the young man's eyes when they'd looked at each other in the past, questions that had remained unanswered.
The Doctor wanted to answer those questions -- and have answers given to some questions of his own. He'd felt an undeniable attraction towards Ross, and he needed to know if the young man felt the same. This was the only way to find out.
There had been something in the way that Ross had looked at him, words that had almost formed themselves into sound but had died before they'd been spoken. There had been an electricity between them, an attraction that he was positive Ross felt as well.
If he was wrong about that, then he would at least have a companion who he got on well with. It would be hard to have Ross by his side as his companion when he wanted them to be so much more, but at least he could know that he'd saved the young man from a senseless death.
"So, where are we off to now, Doctor?" Ross' voice broke into his thoughts; the Doctor looked up to see the young man smiling at him, his eyes sparkling. Well, it seemed that things were off to a good start; Ross obviously had a sense of adventure.
"Anywhere you'd like to see," he said, feeling a smile spread over his own features. There was a magical quality to Ross' smile, something that drew him nearer and lifted his spirits. "Though I should probably give you a tour of the Tardis before we actually go anywhere."
Ross moved closer to him, tilting his head to the side. "If I were you, Doctor, I'd be careful what kind of an invitation you give me," he said, his tone low and husky. "I just might accept it." One arm slid around the Doctor's waist, drawing the Time Lord close to him.
"That's exactly what I was hoping you would say," the Doctor murmured seconds before Ross' soft lips claimed his. He slid his arms around the young man's neck, a little shocked at how quickly this was happening, but not disappointed in the least.
"If I were you, I'd never underestimate humans," Ross murmured against the Doctor's mouth. "Some of them hold back -- but some of them know what they want, and they aren't hesitant about taking a chance when it's presented to them."
"I'm glad you decided to take this chance," the Doctor said softly, pulling back slightly from their embrace. Taking the young man's hand, he led Ross towards one of the corridors, his hearts quickening their pace in anticipation of what the future could hold.
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